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Author Topic: Counters vs numbers  (Read 822 times)

Omega

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Re: Counters vs numbers
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2021, 01:49:41 AM »
Not just MTG though. The beads and equivalents were popping up here and there in other games. I suspect WOTC started using them for Jyhad/Vampire because they saw someone at a con using them and the beads were so abserdly cheap at the time. WOTC did not originate the use. But they likely helped lend it more visibility as a tracking method.

Two Crows

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Re: Counters vs numbers
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2021, 02:04:49 AM »
I meant MtG is what made them cheap.

They were selling so many, it drove costs down.
If I stop replying, it either means I've lost interest in the topic or think further replies are pointless.  I don't need the last word, it's all yours.

Steven Mitchell

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Re: Counters vs numbers
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2021, 08:37:32 AM »
Well, in a pinch the bead make good tokens for a horde of monsters, too, especially if you have several different colors.  I use them that way occasionally because they don't slide around like paper minis, are easier to pick up than coins, and I'm not into grid play enough to accumulate miniatures.  Once you have something, you start looking for other ways to use it. :)

deadDMwalking

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Re: Counters vs numbers
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2021, 09:39:08 AM »
If you experiment with counters, count up, not down

If you count down, every player has to have ALL their counters, and then when they take damage, they have to physically put them somewhere else.  If you have 5 people at the table, and they each have 40 hit points, you'd have 200 counters at all times.

On the other hand, if you count up, you can have a single container with 200 poker chips (or use values like white = 1 / blue = 5 red = 10) so if each player has taken 10 points of damage you only have 4-40 tokens in play.  It's also easier to see that someone is getting hurt if they have a big pile of damage sitting in front of them versus having a small pile.  Monkey brains are good at associating big piles with big amounts. 

It's easier to track damage than health if you use a physical token. 
When I say objectively, I mean 'subjectively'.  When I say literally, I mean 'figuratively'.  
And when I say that you are a horse's ass, I mean that the objective truth is that you are a literal horse's ass.

There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all. - Peter Drucker

Eirikrautha

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Re: Counters vs numbers
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2021, 11:49:42 AM »
If you experiment with counters, count up, not down

If you count down, every player has to have ALL their counters, and then when they take damage, they have to physically put them somewhere else.  If you have 5 people at the table, and they each have 40 hit points, you'd have 200 counters at all times.

On the other hand, if you count up, you can have a single container with 200 poker chips (or use values like white = 1 / blue = 5 red = 10) so if each player has taken 10 points of damage you only have 4-40 tokens in play.  It's also easier to see that someone is getting hurt if they have a big pile of damage sitting in front of them versus having a small pile.  Monkey brains are good at associating big piles with big amounts. 

It's easier to track damage than health if you use a physical token.
Smart.  I like it.

HappyDaze

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Re: Counters vs numbers
« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2021, 12:34:03 PM »
If you experiment with counters, count up, not down

If you count down, every player has to have ALL their counters, and then when they take damage, they have to physically put them somewhere else.  If you have 5 people at the table, and they each have 40 hit points, you'd have 200 counters at all times.

On the other hand, if you count up, you can have a single container with 200 poker chips (or use values like white = 1 / blue = 5 red = 10) so if each player has taken 10 points of damage you only have 4-40 tokens in play.  It's also easier to see that someone is getting hurt if they have a big pile of damage sitting in front of them versus having a small pile.  Monkey brains are good at associating big piles with big amounts. 

It's easier to track damage than health if you use a physical token.
If you have a shared source for the points not actively assigned to PCs, then it makes no difference if they draw from a full common source or toss into an empty common source.

deadDMwalking

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Re: Counters vs numbers
« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2021, 07:34:58 PM »
If you experiment with counters, count up, not down

If you count down, every player has to have ALL their counters, and then when they take damage, they have to physically put them somewhere else.  If you have 5 people at the table, and they each have 40 hit points, you'd have 200 counters at all times.

On the other hand, if you count up, you can have a single container with 200 poker chips (or use values like white = 1 / blue = 5 red = 10) so if each player has taken 10 points of damage you only have 4-40 tokens in play.  It's also easier to see that someone is getting hurt if they have a big pile of damage sitting in front of them versus having a small pile.  Monkey brains are good at associating big piles with big amounts. 

It's easier to track damage than health if you use a physical token.
If you have a shared source for the points not actively assigned to PCs, then it makes no difference if they draw from a full common source or toss into an empty common source.

Mathematically?  No

In practice?  Yes.

When you have a pile of 200 pennies and you start tossing into a bank, when you die it's really easy to realize you dropped 2 or 3 (or your neighbor accidentally harvested them when they encroached on his table.  Picking up pennies and putting them in your pile makes them a bad thibg and they're not going to end up where they don't belong.

It is possible that someone will end up with too much damage and not realize - the difference between 190 and 200 is hard to eyeball - it's much easier to see the difference between 10 and zero - but combined with reducing counters (using quarters in place of 25 pennies for example) it isn't much different.  I'm not going to expect you to be a genius, but surely you can count 8 quarters without taking off your shoes?
When I say objectively, I mean 'subjectively'.  When I say literally, I mean 'figuratively'.  
And when I say that you are a horse's ass, I mean that the objective truth is that you are a literal horse's ass.

There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all. - Peter Drucker

HappyDaze

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Re: Counters vs numbers
« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2021, 08:44:03 PM »
If you experiment with counters, count up, not down

If you count down, every player has to have ALL their counters, and then when they take damage, they have to physically put them somewhere else.  If you have 5 people at the table, and they each have 40 hit points, you'd have 200 counters at all times.

On the other hand, if you count up, you can have a single container with 200 poker chips (or use values like white = 1 / blue = 5 red = 10) so if each player has taken 10 points of damage you only have 4-40 tokens in play.  It's also easier to see that someone is getting hurt if they have a big pile of damage sitting in front of them versus having a small pile.  Monkey brains are good at associating big piles with big amounts. 

It's easier to track damage than health if you use a physical token.
If you have a shared source for the points not actively assigned to PCs, then it makes no difference if they draw from a full common source or toss into an empty common source.

Mathematically?  No

In practice?  Yes.

When you have a pile of 200 pennies and you start tossing into a bank, when you die it's really easy to realize you dropped 2 or 3 (or your neighbor accidentally harvested them when they encroached on his table.  Picking up pennies and putting them in your pile makes them a bad thibg and they're not going to end up where they don't belong.

It is possible that someone will end up with too much damage and not realize - the difference between 190 and 200 is hard to eyeball - it's much easier to see the difference between 10 and zero - but combined with reducing counters (using quarters in place of 25 pennies for example) it isn't much different.  I'm not going to expect you to be a genius, but surely you can count 8 quarters without taking off your shoes?
My players have used a token system with spell slots, and they quite like the diminishing pool of resources as 0 (pool is empty) is a very natural end point for counting. If you reversed it and accumulated tokens, you have to remember each character's particular thresholds.